Beverly Ann Griffin (pictured left), the Mother of a mentally-ill Rikers Island inmate, Bradley Ballard (pictured below), who died last year of neglect announced this week that she would be suing the city, the New York Daily News reports.
This December 15, 2010 photo provided by the New York State Department of Correctional Services shows Bradley Ballard in New York. In September of 2014, Ballard, 39, who was mentally ill and an inmate at the Rikers Island jail in New York, died a gruesome death there after being locked alone in his cell for seven days. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show Ballard was checked on dozens of times in his cell before he was rushed to a hospital, where he died hours later. Ballard, found naked, covered in feces with a rubber band tied around his badly infected genitals, was jailed in a similar mental health unit at Rikers Island where another mentally ill inmate died in a 101-degree cell in February. (AP Photo/New York State Department of Correctional Services)
In her reoccurring dream, Griffin tries approaching Ballard’s grave, but fails. “I cannot go to his grave. It hurts so much, like [his death] just happened,” Griffin said Wednesday. She also took the time to announce the lawsuit against the city and Correction Department.
Per documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the abuse Bradley received was “the functional equivalent of torture.” According to Jonathan Abady, one of Griffin’s lawyers, inmates “get treated, quite frankly, as animals.”
Ballard was serving time for a parole violation when a guard threw him in solitary confinement for offending him last year, court papers allege. There, his physical health took a turn for the worst, the family claims. Officials allegedly denied Ballard food, water, and medical attention. Suffering from schizophrenia and diabetes, over a seven-day time span, Ballard reportedly started self-mutilating, vomiting, and defecating on himself.
By September 11, 2013, Ballard was dead.
“Multiple staff members inexplicably [watched] this man suffer, then walked away,” papers claim.
A medical examiner ruled Ballard’s death a homicide.
“You are there to correct an inmate, not destroy him,” Griffin added.